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Remembered Today:

W. Waite, MC and Bar


tankengine888

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William Waite was born on September 27th, 1888 to Michael John [1860-1934] and Margaret [Nee Roberts/Robarts] Waite [1870-1936]

William Waite enlisted into the AIF on August 20th, 1914 at Broadmeadows and was given the service number 363. He trained there and was assigned to C Troop [O.C Lt Pollard], B Squadron [O.C Cpt Armstrong], 4th Light Horse Regiment, which was then commanded by Lieutenant Colonel John Keatly Forsyth who was tasked with raising the 1st Light Horse Brigade whilst the actual Commander [Col. Chauvel] was absent in England.
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Lieutenant Colonel J.K Forsyth [later CMG] rose to the rank of Brigadier during the war
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Lieutenant Stanley Fox Pollard
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Captain Stephen John Wright Armstrong, later Major.
William's Regiment embarked from Melbourne on October 19th, 1914 on the S.S Wiltshire. He arrived in Mena Camp, Egypt on December 12th and trained there for 5 months. During this time, he was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal [December 23rd, 1914], and then he was deployed onto Gallipoli on May 24th, 1915, just a month after the initial landings.
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Members of the 4th L.H.R infront of the Sphinx
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A photo taken by Waite on the Gallipoli Peninsula of the Padre
He was reverted to the ranks on July 16th for failing picquet duty but was appointed Lance Corporal again on August 2nd. Even though he had a bad start on the peninsula, he was promoted to Provost Corporal on August 27th, Corporal on September 28th, Provost Sergeant on November 4th, then Sergeant on November 27th. He disembarked at Alexandria on December 27th, the end of his time on the Peninsula. He embarked from Alexandria on March 21st, 1916, arriving in Marseilles on the 27th. On May 13th, he was taken onto strength with the 1st Australian & New Zealand Mounted Regiment in France. He transferred to the 2nd ANZAC Mounted Regiment on July 7th which probably led to his promotion to Second Lieutenant on September 9th. On September 22nd, he transferred to the 53rd Battalion which had taken heavy casualties 2 months earlier at Fromelles. On November 17th, Waite went to Divisional Training School, and came back on the 23rd. He then went to a Lewis Gun Instructors Course from January 15th to the 29th, 1917. During March and April 1917, he was recognized by the Brigade Commander, Brigadier C. J. Hobkirk. The Brigadier recommended him for a Military Cross, the recommendation reading...

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"This officer took out strong patrols at night many times between 13th March and 5th April 1917. He performed exceptionally good work and showed great skill in the conduct of these patrols, thereby obtaining most valuable information which led to the entering of enemy lines at, and near TANSLOY, and started the advance of the whole line. The information obtained by this officer and his patrols was also very largely responsible for the successful attack on DOIGNIES and LOUVERVAL on April 2nd. This work entailed lying out close to, and sometimes inside, the enemy's wire on several wet nights in succession."
His MC appeared in the London Gazette on June 18th, 1917 on page 6005 at position 19


Gen Clarence John Hobkirk (1869-1949) - Find a Grave Memorial
Brigadier Clarence John Hobkirk CMG, DSO
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Newspaper, August 16th, 1917
He was promoted to 'Two-Pip' Lieutenant on April 15th, 1917 and went on 'Blighty Leave' on April 24th. He rejoined the Battalion on May 8th in France. He went to Hospital on June 25th with Appendicitis, and didn't come back to the 53rd until September 13th, a full 3 months. On September 26th, 1917 he was wounded at Polygon Wood, a gunshot wound in the left buttock. After some time at Sutton Veny, he was sentenced by a General Court Martial, reading..

"London 21-2-18. Committing a civil offence, that is to say uttering a forged document. Knowing the same to he forged. Pleading Not Guilty. Finding Guilty. Sentence to take rank + precedence in his corps & in the AIF as if his appointment as lt. back date 27-3-18. To be Severely Reprimanded 27-3-18."
*the forged document was a railway ticket

H06227
Lieutenant Waite M.C; Probably whilst in England, 1918.
He came back to France on the 6th June and distinguished himself at Peronne on September 1st, 1918.
At the time, he was a Company 2iC/Platoon Commander under Captain William Frederic Lindsay, Officer Commanding 'D' Company, 53rd Battalion. Captain Lindsay led his Company until he was wounded, probably after the initial wirebelt when they reinforced Major J. J. Murray's flank. Lieutenant Waite forced a passage through the wire throughout Heavy Artillery and Machine Gun Fire, and then protected an undefended flank which the Germans were attempting to exploit. At some point, he borrowed a Signaller by the name of [Private] Crank to operate a captured 77mm gun, earlier liberated by a Private Currey. Waite then later advanced with a party to the Sugar Factory, driving out the Germans. During this time, he was isolated from his forces. Waite was there for hours before artillery started shelling positions, and this prompted messages to be sent to the Sugar Factory for Waite to be recalled. At 3A.M, Private Currey volunteered to get the message through even after two failed attempts. Currey managed to get close enough and yell with all his power "Waitsy/Waitey, Get in!" This drew all the enemy fire towards him. Luckily for Currey, Waite had heard the message and began his withdrawal. Currey winded up gassed. Crank was given a Distinguished Conduct Medal whilst they gave Currey a Victoria Cross for capturing the 77mm gun and pulling Waite back.

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Map of the battlefield. Waite is shown on the map.

Waite's official citation reads..
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"For most conspicuous gallantry an devotion to duty in action. During the attack on Peronne on 1st September 1918 despite strong Enemy wire entanglements and Machine Gun and Artillery Barrage, Lieut. WAITE with his platoon forced a passage through the wire and moved forward to the attack. While the advance was in progress, the enemy was observed to be massing on the left which was an exposed flank, and Lieut. Waite despite heavy casualties brought his Platoon into action in the open and inflicted so many casualties in the enemies ranks that he was forced to disperse and allow the advance to continue.
In the second attack all the Officers of his Company became casualties, and he assumed Command, and established posts well forward, which he successfully held until ordered to withdraw by the Commanding Officer [Lieutenant Colonel Cheeseman].
He displayed the utmost gallantry, and such disregard of personal safety throughout, that he won the admiration of all ranks."

He was awarded a Bar to his Military Cross which appeared on the London Gazette on February 1st, 1919 on page 1638 at position 4.


Virtual War Memorial | William Joseph Robert CHEESEMAN ...
Lieutenant Colonel Cheeseman
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Captain William F. Lindsay, Off. Cmd. 'D' Coy, post-war. He was also awarded the Military Cross in the same action
Australian transport halted in a ruined street of Peronne. The shell torn  Citadel Tower can be ... | Australian War Memorial
Peronne in 1918, following the capture.

Before the war would end, he would go into hospital one more time on October 30th with appendicitis, returning to what remained of 'D' Company on November 6th.
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D Company on Armistice Day 1918, from the collection of Lt Waite
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NCO's of the 53rd Battalion on Armistice Day, from the collection of Lt Waite

Waite would embark home on January 11th on 'Orca' and arrive home on February 19th, 1919. His appointment would be terminated at 3rd M.D on June 6th, 1919 after 4 years and 10 months in the service. William Waite would later marry Hilda Cope in February 1926 and have a son, William 'Reg' Reginald Waite born on Remembrance Day, 1927. Waite was troubled by his buttock wound at Polygon Wood for many years following the war. He answered the call and enlisted for the Second World War on February 7th, 1941 and lowered his age by 2 years. He was taken onto strength of the 8th Garrison Battalion on December 17th, 1941 at Adamstown and was appointed Acting Sergeant the same day. He was further appointed Acting Lieutenant on January 16th, 1942 at Sydney. Unfortunately, his record from the Second World War ends there. William Waite would die on August 28th, 1976, somewhere in New South Wales, aged 87 years old.

 

Below is the medal set that he would've been entitled to;
           Military Cross+Bar  1914-15 Star                        Victory Medal                 Australian Service Medal
                                                                British War Medal                    War Medal

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Edited by tankengine888

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Posted

Dear Zidane,

Super Waite article-like treatment. Well done!

I have purchased by part-exchange plus 500 GBP credit card, a Calcutta Police MBE, KPM (Asst Commr David Fisher), BWM (Pte, Vols), Durbar 1911, Vol LS (Lt.-, Vols) contemporarily mounted group of five for the huge price of 1,695 GBP. 

Could you possibly do a search for this Scotsman's IMAGE, please? Medals Parade at Calcutta HQ Lall Bazar, early 1927 (KPM for bravery, Calcutta Riots). Retired 1935. MBE 1929 (Birthday Honour). Sorry to be such a pest!

Kindest regards,

Kim.1269711026_FISHERAsstCommrDavid.jpg.f1d7e46f055bc5dd34f8dcdd79ce07d0.jpg439173425_Apr1927IAL.jpg.b23645db1efaa59e2976394f875b9f08.jpgIMG_20221028_0001.jpg.4e0f8c638f53feadaac99f42b5da3d76.jpg

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tankengine888

Posted

1 hour ago, Kimberley John Lindsay said:

Dear Zidane,

Super Waite article-like treatment. Well done!

I have purchased by part-exchange plus 500 GBP credit card, a Calcutta Police MBE, KPM (Asst Commr David Fisher), BWM (Pte, Vols), Durbar 1911, Vol LS (Lt.-, Vols) contemporarily mounted group of five for the huge price of 1,695 GBP. 

Could you possibly do a search for this Scotsman's IMAGE, please? Medals Parade at Calcutta HQ Lall Bazar, early 1927 (KPM for bravery, Calcutta Riots). Retired 1935. MBE 1929 (Birthday Honour). Sorry to be such a pest!

Kindest regards,

Kim.1269711026_FISHERAsstCommrDavid.jpg.f1d7e46f055bc5dd34f8dcdd79ce07d0.jpg439173425_Apr1927IAL.jpg.b23645db1efaa59e2976394f875b9f08.jpgIMG_20221028_0001.jpg.4e0f8c638f53feadaac99f42b5da3d76.jpg

Hello Kim!

I've been researching on an A.I.F Captain who was dismissed in 1917 and went missing. It's quite interesting in my opinion.

That's a fair amount of money if I might say so.
Cutting to the chase, I cannot locate a photo. I did find he (probably) married on March 20th, 1921 in Calcutta to Margaret Grant-Murray.
Born in 1883, parents were David White Fisher and Janet Fisher (Nee Hogg).
In 1901 [aged 18] he was boarding with the Laing's as a Paper Mill worker.
There is a record for a David Fisher born in 1882 of the Royal Highves from Kilconguhar, Fife who enlisted in 1901, S/N 8318. Definitely him
Possibility Below
In 1937, a David Fisher who was born in 1883 left Bombay and arrived in Liverpool on April 27th, 1937. It lists he is a Loco driver, and travelling with Margaret Fisher. It also states his address was 240 Shawbridge St.P'shaws, Glasgow. There are several records throughout 1920-1940 with shipping records of this man, but most list loco driver.

That's all I could find at semi-short notice.. but it's something I suppose.
Zidane.

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Posted

Dear Zidane,

That AIF Captain sounds fascinating!

Yes, what you have found IS interesting, and many thanks for that. Super that you found his year of birth: 1882 (or 1883?). Kilconquhar, fits. 

Apparently his father, D. Fisher, was lare RE. (That fits with David White Fisher and mother Janet Fisherr nee Hogg.)

I will write to the Calcutta Police Museum, 113 APC Roy Rd Kolkata, who at least have an 1856 photo of S. Wauchope, 1st Commr.

David Fisher (a fairly common Scottish name, apparently) was also with the Calcutta Police Training School from 1918. He was commissioned 2Lt into the Calcutta and Presidency Battalion, Auxiliary Force - India, on 10 Feb 1924. The C&P Bn was called up to put down civil disobedience (Riots) on 12-14 Apr 1919 and 24 Apr - 10 May 1926. His last entry as Lieut (rank dated 10 May 1926), was in the July 1929 India Army List.

He retired from the Calcutta Police in 1935, so the Loco Driver David married to Margaret (!) who left in 1937 is doubtful. Thanks for the probable marriage to Margaret Fisher nee Grant-Murray in Calcutta, 1921: Super!

His award of the Volunteer LS medal was confirmed in India Army Orders of 1927: Fisher, D.; Dover, C. I.  The Delhi Durbar 1911 must have been a lucky award.

Yes, 1,695 quid was way over-priced (and I could only muster 500 Pounds Credit Card plus 70 Euros cash), but my part-exchanges were expendable, and in fact it was a case of Take It or Leave It (with the risk of disappointment, later). As it is, I find it more fun to tackle the unusual combination Fisher group, than to have continued to sit on my CIE (I retained the ornate case) and IA Lt-Col whose Image I failed to find; ditto 15 Star Trio. Ho hum.

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Posted

Dear Zidane,

It turns out he was David Cathcart Fisher, who on 7 March 1916 (aged 33) married an Australian, Margaret McCall, at St. Stephens Church, Kidderpose (?).

Margaret died on 16 Apr 1950, beloved wife of David Cathcart Fisher, of 2 Fifth Avenue, Helmsdale (Adelaid). (Adelaide Advertiser 17 Apr 1950).

Their Wedding was recorded in The Adelaide Chronicle of  24 June 1916 Fisher - McCall. (Quoted from The Indian Times).

This was found by an Adelaide collector friend, by coincidence.

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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tankengine888

Posted

Dear Kim, 

Ah, sorry about the 1921 marriage. Turns out Margaret's nephew was a 27th Btn and a 4th MG Battalion man, August 1916 embarker.
Now that you mention this marriage..
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Anyways, atleast that's cleared up.
Zidane.

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Posted

Dear Zidane,

Super. It appears that thefairly elderly Margaret McCall was one of the "fishing fleet" to find a suitable husband in India.

The search continues. I am wondering if David Cathcart Fisher also ended his days in Adelaide (rather than Fife, as assumed)?

However, the Handlys Auctioneers are in Moray, Scotland, adjacent to Fife... Hmmm.

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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tankengine888

Posted

Dear Kim,
They're still married by time of death..
FISHER.— On April 16, at a private hospital. Margaret, beloved wife of David Cathcart Fisher, of 2 Fifth avenue, Helmsdale
Cannot find a photo of the grave.. unfortunate.

Zidane.

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